Top 20 WordPress Plugins

If you’re not familiar with WordPress, there are thousands of plugins available that help you to customize and tweak your website or blog. According to the WordPress.org website, "Plugins can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine."

They also claim that "WordPress Plugins allow easy modification, customization, and enhancement to a WordPress blog. Instead of changing the core programming of WordPress, you can add functionality with WordPress Plugins."

Could this be true? Yes – and the plugins are free.

With over 6,000 plugins available, you can fine-tune your site or blog without breaking the budget on expensive marketing or add-ons. These plugins include everything from shopping carts, analytic tools, RSS feeds and image handling to Twitter and advertising space.

Sure, pouring through thousands of plugins can be time consuming (and maybe a little bit boring) but it’s well worth the effort.

To save you some time, I’d like to share my top 20 picks:

  1. Akismet
    Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not.
  2. All in One SEO Pack
    Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog.
  3. BluBrry PowerPress
    Adds podcasting support to your blog. Features include: media player, 3rd party statistics and iTunes integration.
  4. Contact Form
    Fast and Secure Contact Form for WordPress. This contact form lets your visitors send you a quick E-mail message. Blocks all common spammer tactics. Spam is no longer a problem. Includes a CAPTCHA and Akismet support. Does not require JavaScript. Easy and Quick 3 step install.
  5. Featured Content Gallery
    Used to create a fully automated featured content gallery anywhere within your WordPress theme.
  6. FeedBlitz "Member Mail"
    Enables hosted WordPress blogs to integrate FeedBlitz email newsletter signup with the user registration screen.
  7. Google AdSense Now!
    Aiming at simplicity, AdSense Now! does only one thing: it puts your AdSense code in up to three spots in your posts and pages (both existing ones and those yet to be written).
  8. Google Analytics for WordPress
    Google Analytics is a free, and very impressive, statistics package. Easily add the tracking code to your pages with this plugin and track your progress.
  9. LinkToThisPage
    The Link To This Page (BETA) WordPress plugin provides a quick, simple to use, and unobtrusive way for users to obtain a link to your page or post for their own web site.
  10. Redirection
    Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This is particularly useful if you are migrating pages from an old website, or are changing the directory of your WordPress installation.
  11. Role Manager
    Role Management for WordPress.
  12. ShareThis
    Let your visitors share a post/page with others. Supports e-mail and posting to social bookmarking sites.
  13. Simple:Press
    A feature rich chat forum plugin for WordPress. It fully integrates into your WP based site utilizing the same user records and database and displaying on a single WP page.
  14. TubePress
    Displays gorgeous YouTube galleries in your posts, pages, and/or sidebar.
  15. TweetMeme Button
    Adds the TweetMeme button into your posts and RSS feed.
  16. Twitter for WordPress
    Displays yours latest tweets in your WordPress blog.
  17. Viper's Video Quicktags
    Easily embed videos from various video websites such as YouTube, DailyMotion, and Vimeo into your posts.
  18. WordPress Automatic Upgrade
    Every now and then you need to upgrade WordPress to the latest version, with this plugin you can do so by clicking to upgrade and it is taken care of for you, even backing up your site before the upgrade.
  19. WordPress Database Backup
    On-demand backup of your WordPress database.
  20. WP Popup Scheduler
    Allows you to schedule a popup as and when you want it. This pop-up plugin is fully customizable and can be used for all kind of situation.

Honorable Mentions...by Members of My SUPER BootCamp!

  1. FlickrRSS
    This plugin for WordPress allows you to display Flickr photos on your weblog.
  2. WordPress Global Translator Plugin
    Automatically translate your blog in 41 different languages.
  3. Exclude Pages
    Provides you with a checkbox on the editing page which you can check to exclude pages from the primary navigation.
  4. WPReviewEngine
    Quickly and easily create powerful review sites using WordPress.
  5. Testimonials Manager
    Allows you to manage and display testimonials for your blog, product or service.
  6. PageLinksTo
    This plugin allows you to make a WordPress page or post link to a URL of your choosing, instead of its WordPress page or post URL.

Also see: Premium WordPress Themes

Need Hosting?

If your looking for hosting I recommend BlueHost.com because they are the developers of SimpleScripts, a one button WordPress installation tool for non-techies. It's brilliant. See full tutorial.

BlueHost.com also offers 24/7 North American based telephone support. They are helpful and will never make you feel like a dummy.

Testimonials Manager

12 Comments

  1. Danny Miller says:

    Hi James & Arlene,

    Just wanted to tell you again how much I (and I'm sure everyone else in the conference room) appreciated last night's WordPress Workshop.

    I found it absolutely brilliant! Very helpful.

    Thanks for doing this 3 part session on WordPress!

    Sincerely,

    Danny M

    Reply
  2. Mark Schoenrock says:

    Hi James,

    If you've had problems getting Google Optimizer to work in WordPress then this is for you. I stumbled across it while I was pulling out what little hair I have. I kept getting an error on my original test page while trying to set up optimizer. I was setting the code into the html from the wysiwyg. This did not work like I thought.

    Here is the name of the plugin: Google Website Optimizer for WordPress

    When you create a page, it will easily allow you to paste the Google code in the correct location, eliminating errors.

    Mark

    Reply
  3. Paul Chidley says:

    James,

    Your list includes WordPress Database Backup as number 15. But it only backs up the wp database, not the other files. What plugin do you use for that? I'm sure I've heard you mention one.

    Thanks, Paul C.

    Reply
  4. admin says:

    I would like to also add in the Subscriptions Options plugin. It's kind of similar to what I added manually to the top right-hand corner of this page for my RSS feeds, etc., but simpler and takes up less room.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/subscription-options/

    Reply
  5. Eddison says:

    I would also add

    Contact Form 7

    and

    WP-Sticky

    Reply
  6. Don says:

    Hi James - have a print button at the top of your articles - to make it easy to refer to the material in the article. Thanks

    Reply
  7. Don Campbell says:

    This is a great list James. For affiliate marketing, I also recommend GoCodes - this is a plugin I recently started using to mask my affiliate links so that they are pointing to my site instead of the vendors site.

    This way it is easier for me to track and verify with the #s that my affiliate vendors give me at the end of the month.

    Also, here is my WordPress post-install checklist video. Some critical steps I always take after installing WordPress.

    Thanks again for the great list!
    -Don

    Reply
  8. Mathew Eckel says:

    Glad that I discovered your site, great info. I will bookmark and try to visit more often.

    Reply
  9. James Martell says:

    John White recommended a free WordPress OptIn plugin.

    He's says "It works very well, and has increased my opt-ins by more than double over the lightbox I had been using."

    You can find it here:

    http://www.danielwatrous.com/optin-footer-plugin

    Thanks John, nice find.

    James

    Reply

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